What causes Xanthelasma and how to treat it?

What causes Xanthelasma and how to treat it?

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One of the signs you have Xanthelasma is if you notice yellow patches on the inside corners of your eyelids. The patches are basically made up of cholesterol that’s under your skin. The patches are not dangerous but if you don’t like the way they look, go to your eye doctor and get them removed.

Xanthelasma doesn’t hurt but it may be a sign that you’ll get heart disease. So instead of ignoring this skin condition, you should get it checked out by your doctor.

Who gets Xanthelasma?

This condition is rare, but it is linked to high levels of fat or cholesterol in your blood. Sometimes even if your cholesterol levels are normal it is possible to get it.

Most people who get it are in their 40-50 or older. It’s more common in women than in men. If you have it, make sure to do a blood test in order to get your cholesterol checked out.

What causes it?

Half of the people who have xanthelasma have high cholesterol as well. You’re more likely to get these growths if you have:

  • High LDL (bad) cholesterol or low HDL (good) cholesterol
  • Inherited high cholesterol (your doctor may call this familial hypercholesterolemia)
  • Liver disease or so-called primary biliary cirrhosis, which raises cholesterol levels

It’s most common for people whose families are from the Mediterranean or Asia.

How to treat it?

The patches remain the same size or grow over time, which means they won’t go away on their own.

You can always get them removed if you are concerned over how they look. Your doctor can remove them using these methods:

  • Remove it with the help of a laser
  • Take it off with surgery
  • Freeze it off with intense cold (cryosurgery)
  • Dissolve the growth with medicine
  • Treat it with an electric needle (electrodesiccation)

Even though these treatments are effective, side effects might occur such as:

  • Changes in skin color
  • Turned-out eyelid
  • Scars

If you have high cholesterol the growths may come back.

When should I see the doctor?

One of the early warning signs that cholesterol is building up in your blood vessels is Xanthelasma. Over time it can form sticky, hard gunk so-called plaque in your arteries. This buildup is called atherosclerosis, and it often leads to heart attack, heart disease, or stroke.

Other heart disease risks may be the result of the growths such as:

If you notice growths on your eyelids and want to remove them, visit a dermatologist or an oculoplastic surgeon. That’s an eye doctor who has specialized in doing plastic surgery on the eyes. Also get your primary care doctor to check your blood pressure, cholesterol levels, and other heart-related risks.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Petar Jangelovski
Petar Jangelovski

Petar Jangelovski A former ESL teacher who enjoys reading books and going out with friends. Experienced and creative translator, and once upon a time a poet, who wrote Shakespearean-like sonnets.

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